quarter of a balcony was found, and the three of them,

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[112] Burnouf, Bhagavata-Purana, III. p. lxxxvi; Breal, op. cit. p. 98.

quarter of a balcony was found, and the three of them,

These celestial cattle, with their resplendent coats of purple and gold, are the clouds lit up by the solar rays; but the demon who steals them is not always the fiend of the storm, acting in that capacity. They are stolen every night by Vritra the concealer, and Caecius the darkener, and Indra is obliged to spend hours in looking for them, sending Sarama, the inconstant twilight, to negotiate for their recovery. Between the storm-myth and the myth of night and morning the resemblance is sometimes so close as to confuse the interpretation of the two. Many legends which Max Muller explains as myths of the victory of day over night are explained by Dr. Kuhn as storm-myths; and the disagreement between two such powerful champions would be a standing reproach to what is rather prematurely called the SCIENCE of comparative mythology, were it not easy to show that the difference is merely apparent and non-essential. It is the old story of the shield with two sides; and a comparison of the ideas fundamental to these myths will show that there is no valid ground for disagreement in the interpretation of them. The myths of schamir and the divining-rod, analyzed in a previous paper, explain the rending of the thunder-cloud and the procuring of water without especial reference to any struggle between opposing divinities. But in the myth of Hercules and Cacus, the fundamental idea is the victory of the solar god over the robber who steals the light. Now whether the robber carries off the light in the evening when Indra has gone to sleep, or boldly rears his black form against the sky during the daytime, causing darkness to spread over the earth, would make little difference to the framers of the myth. To a chicken a solar eclipse is the same thing as nightfall, and he goes to roost accordingly. Why, then, should the primitive thinker have made a distinction between the darkening of the sky caused by black clouds and that caused by the rotation of the earth? He had no more conception of the scientific explanation of these phenomena than the chicken has of the scientific explanation of an eclipse. For him it was enough to know that the solar radiance was stolen, in the one case as in the other, and to suspect that the same demon was to blame for both robberies.

quarter of a balcony was found, and the three of them,

The Veda itself sustains this view. It is certain that the victory of Indra over Vritra is essentially the same as his victory over the Panis. Vritra, the storm-fiend, is himself called one of the Panis; yet the latter are uniformly represented as night-demons. They steal Indra's golden cattle and drive them by circuitous paths to a dark hiding-place near the eastern horizon. Indra sends the dawn-nymph, Sarama, to search for them, but as she comes within sight of the dark stable, the Panis try to coax her to stay with them: "Let us make thee our sister, do not go away again; we will give thee part of the cows, O darling."[113] According to the text of this hymn, she scorns their solicitations, but elsewhere the fickle dawn-nymph is said to coquet with the powers of darkness. She does not care for their cows, but will take a drink of milk, if they will be so good as to get it for her. Then she goes back and tells Indra that she cannot find the cows. He kicks her with his foot, and she runs back to the Panis, followed by the god, who smites them all with his unerring arrows and recovers the stolen light. From such a simple beginning as this

quarter of a balcony was found, and the three of them,

has been deduced the Greek myth of the faithlessness of Helen.[114]

[113] Max Muller, Science of Language, II 484.

[114] As Max Muller observes, "apart from all mythological considerations, Sarama in Sanskrit is the same word as Helena in Greek." Op. cit. p. 490. The names correspond phonetically letter for letter, as, Surya corresponds to Helios, Sarameyas to Hermeias, and Aharyu to Achilleus. Muller has plausibly suggested that Paris similarly answers to the Panis.

These night-demons, the Panis, though not apparently regarded with any strong feeling of moral condemnation, are nevertheless hated and dreaded as the authors of calamity. They not only steal the daylight, but they parch the earth and wither the fruits, and they slay vegetation during the winter months. As Caecius, the "darkener," became ultimately changed into Cacus, the "evil one," so the name of Vritra, the "concealer," the most famous of the Panis, was gradually generalized until it came to mean "enemy," like the English word fiend, and began to be applied indiscriminately to any kind of evil spirit. In one place he is called Adeva, the "enemy of the gods," an epithet exactly equivalent to the Persian dev.

In the Zendavesta the myth of Hercules and Cacus has given rise to a vast system of theology. The fiendish Panis are concentrated in Ahriman or Anro-mainyas, whose name signifies the "spirit of darkness," and who carries on a perpetual warfare against Ormuzd or Ahuramazda, who is described by his ordinary surname, Spentomainyas, as the "spirit of light." The ancient polytheism here gives place to a refined dualism, not very different from what in many Christian sects has passed current as monotheism. Ahriman is the archfiend, who struggles with Ormuzd, not for the possession of a herd of perishable cattle, but for the dominion of the universe. Ormuzd creates the world pure and beautiful, but Ahriman comes after him and creates everything that is evil in it. He not only keeps the earth covered with darkness during half of the day, and withholds the rain and destroys the crops, but he is the author of all evil thoughts and the instigator of all wicked actions. Like his progenitor Vritra and his offspring Satan, he is represented under the form of a serpent; and the destruction which ultimately awaits these demons is also in reserve for him. Eventually there is to be a day of reckoning, when Ahriman will be bound in chains and rendered powerless, or when, according to another account, he will be converted to righteousness, as Burns hoped and Origen believed would be the case with Satan.

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